How to Wake Up Early
Hitting that snooze button?
Setting 5 alarms each morning?
Perhaps you feel you’re not an early-riser, or that you don’t need to wake up early. Maybe you haven’t found that special ‘why’ for getting up before the sun or are worried about how getting up early will affect your health. These are all genuine concerns. I will cover none of these in any great depth here. In fact, this article presumes only one thing – that you want to wake up early, but you don’t know how. This is a no-nonsense, tough love, just start getting the hell out of bed kinda article.
First off – a little about why I have decided to write this. For years I struggled with having a ‘normal’ wake-up time. There would be days where I wake up at 4am and need to finish Uni work (read: procrastinated and only started it at 9pm the evening before.) On other days, I was exhausted and thought nothing of waking up at midday and having toast and tea while watching Jeremy Kyle (UK readers will know.) Who cares if I had butter on my t-shirt and probably in need of a shower.
During all the epiphanies, productivity months, new resolutions etc., I have tried various methods of waking up early. Some lasted longer than others, but none kept me consistent. That’s why I’m sharing my current method with you today. At the time of writing, my current streak is 250 days (since 4th May 2020). Zero lie-ins on my Birthday, Christmas, etc. When I was sick, I still got up early. Yes I took an afternoon power nap every few weeks if I needed it, but I didn't give in and go back to bed. This isn't about me though - it's about how you can get stop hitting that snooze button!
OK, so enough with the niceties – here is the exact method I suggest you use to wake up early.
How to wake up early
No softly-softly approach here!
Get The Sword by Iron Swan. You can download but I wanted a hardcore version. I opened the song on my computer and set the voice recorder on my phone. I gradually upped the volume all the way to 55 seconds when shit starts to get heavy. At that point I needed it LOUD. So loud that my neighbours would be giving me stern looks next time I see them, and my girlfriend would be hitting me repeatedly with the bedside lamp. For me – this is the perfect amount of motivation to turn that alarm off before 55 seconds in. The app has an 'escalating alarm' choice but doing it my way gave me the control of knowing how long it took to turn it off. In case you are wondering - yes I even practised by recording it and seeing how long it took to walk to the kitchen.
Commit to the Process
Turn the option to snooze off. You won’t be needing them anymore. In fact, hitting snooze is the equivalent of saying you are weak as soon as you get up. If you have got this far through then I am sure you want to have more discipline than that.
Get an Early Night
No brainer. If you can’t get to sleep early – worry about that in a few days. After doing this for a while you will no doubt be so tired you start needing to go to bed early. Your body will adapt. This is one of the most common things I hear - "I won't get enough sleep if I wake up early."
Stop. Making. excuses. That extra Netflix episode isn't adding value to your life.
Fail, get up, fail, get up…
Perhaps you have tried to copy the greats with their morning routines. You may have tried waking up early before, and failed time and time again. That's normal. Why not try and create streaks of doing this one thing each day. Who cares if you have managed to have the perfect morning every day. There are some days I just stare at a wall while drinking my coffee. I haven't even noticed an hour flew by.
Create some discipline in your day. Doing difficult things and succeeding is one way to get back control of your life.
Here was me in April and May 2020 where things were all over the place. I have tried various routines and have failed. For now, I am happy with my 250 day streak!
Waking up early is an excellent way to build a good sleep schedule, and improve your discipline. While you don't need to have the morning routine of a successful person, trying to adopt habits that have proved successful for others is key. A lot of talk goes into waking up early. At first, you might not be able to explain the exact purpose of doing this. Essentially, carving out some time for yourself every day is a great way to get more done each day. Imagine being able to wake up with purpose each day and not have the day just drag you along with it. Sure, you could watch another episode before bed, or play that game a little bit longer. How much value do you get from those things?
Following the above steps will give you a hard-to-ignore regime every morning, where you can get on with your daily tasks. It's not a soft, hand-holding approach - but it gets the job done!
If you know someone who needs a wake up call in their life - share this article.
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Personal Trainer and Nutritionist
Tribe Oxford is a personal training service based at Buzz Gym Oxford committed to support people to lose body fat, become stronger and boost their confidence.